Trigger warning: This post contains a brief mention of anxiety.
I wanted to start by being completely honest with you. This week has been a bad week for me and this time I’m not afraid to admit it.
There was a time when I would never have admitted to having a less-than-average week. I was the friend who was always smiling, always happy, and to my other friends, I had my life together. What my friends didn’t know, or see, were the thoughts that tumbled negatively through my mind, the incessant worrying about every detail, every word I said, everything I did, the tears that leaked from my eyes when I sat in my room by myself, so overwhelmed by the world around me.
This was before I learnt that it is okay to not be okay. It is okay to have a bad day, or a bad week. It is okay to not be perfect- it’s human even. Everyone has flaws and worries and pain, and they have bad days too. No one is perfect, even if their lives appear to be so.
No one should have to struggle through their bad days thinking that they are alone in their struggle. You are not. While it is improbable that anyone is going through your exact scenario or particular struggle or combination of struggles, there are people around you who understand and have gone through similar things. That’s the mission of this blog too. I spent too long thinking I was alone in my worries. My anxiety convinced me that no one would care, even if I did tell them, but that is untrue. I am always surprised by the support and understanding I have received by those around me, and also the stories that people have told me once I opened up to them. There were lots of things going on in the lives of my friends that I had no idea about. Terrible things happen, it’s true, and too many people have become incredibly good at hiding the bad. Sharing often works both ways, and once one person is brave enough to share what has gone on in their life, it brings out the stories from the other person.
When I was going through grief counselling, I was told the best thing to do was talk about it. Talking, I was told, was the fastest way to healing, and I have found this to be true.
It is tough though, so tough, and I commend all of you who have opened up to those around you and found healing through the use of your voice. If you find it hard to open up to people, maybe find one person you trust and when they ask you how you are, let them know honestly.
This brings me to another lie that my mind constantly tells me: that in using my voice and talking to others, I am bothering them and talking too much. Bothering other people and being an inconvenience to them is one of my biggest worries. It is also the reason that 9/10 times, I stay silent, not wanting to impose on the other person’s life. But what I have also learnt through this (and there are many things I have learnt) is that people who care about you want to know when you are having a bad day. They want to know so they can help. I know I act this way towards my friends. It is the worst feeling, as a friend, to find out that someone was struggling with something and they never told you. Even if it seems small, or seems big, I encourage you that most people won’t feel inconvenienced by you talking to them about it. I would much rather someone talk to me about something, even if it takes time out of my day, especially if it means the difference between winning the fight, and losing, especially after what happened with my best friend (mentioned in previous post).
It is okay to ask for help when you are struggling. No healing comes from bottling everything up inside. I’ll be the first to admit that I still struggle with this, especially when it is me having to do the talking, but I think writing this out is another step towards healing.
I opened up to a friend today, and while we were talking, she told me that if my friends didn’t support me and what I was going through, that they shouldn’t have a place in my life. While a little harsh, I’ll admit, she is right. It is very important that we have people in our lives that gives us love and support, because there are times when we cannot do it on our own. We need people to hold us together when we feel like falling apart. I know I definitely do.